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game preview

Panthers at Kings preview

Montembeault expected to make fourth straight start for Florida; Carter one point from 700 in NHL for L.A.

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

PANTHERS (31-27-12) at KINGS (25-37-8)

4 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-F, NHL.TV


The Game

The Florida Panthers will try for their fourth consecutive win when they play the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Panthers won 4-2 at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday and have outscored their opponents 16-5 during their fourth winning streak this season of at least three games.

Florida trails the Columbus Blue Jackets by nine points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

The Kings lost 3-1 to the Nashville Predators on Thursday and are 2-10-4 in their past 16 games.


Players to watch

Panthers goalie Sam Montembeault is 3-0-1 with a 2.24 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in his first four NHL starts.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has six assists in his past seven games.


They said it

"We got confidence with him. He plays the puck extremely well back there, helps our D out on breakouts, and he's deserved the games that he has gotten so far. I think he's got a bright future." -- Panthers forward Mike Hoffman on rookie goalie Sam Montembeault, expected to make his fourth straight start

"It's good that they are getting NHL games in, but to come to a team in last place and no direction right now … it's tough for these guys. I guess it's a good opportunity that they are getting some ice time and getting more playing time than they probably would've if we were in the playoff race." -- Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on defensemen Paul LaDue, Kurtis MacDermid, Sean Walker and Matt Roy


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Frank Vatrano -- Vincent Trocheck -- Mike Hoffman

Dryden Hunt -- Riley Sheahan -- Troy Brouwer

Jamie McGinn -- Henrik Borgstrom -- Jayce Hawryluk

Mike Matheson -- Aaron Ekblad

Keith Yandle -- MacKenzie Weegar

Mark Pysyk -- Josh Brown

Sam Montembeault

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Ian McCoshen, James Reimer

Injured: Colton Sceviour (wrist), Denis Malgin (lower body)


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Brendan Leipsic -- Jeff Carter -- Jonny Brodzinski

Carl Grundstrom -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli

Kyle Clifford -- Trevor Lewis -- Austin Wagner

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez -- Matt Roy

Dion Phaneuf -- Sean Walker

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Paul LaDue, Ilya Kovalchuk, Kurtis MacDermid

Injured: None


Status report

Brodzinski could replace Kovalchuk on the second line after being scratched Thursday against the Predators. ... Kings coach Willie Desjardins said he would continue to rotate LaDue, MacDermid, Walker and Roy over the final 12 games to give all four inexperienced defensemen playing time.


Stat pack

Barkov, who has two goals and eight assists during a four-game streak, needs three assists for 200 in the NHL. ... Carter is one point from 700 in the NHL.

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